Brand new tours, done differently

There are festivals – featuring hyped-up bands, overpriced food and hour-long lines for the bathrooms – and then there are festivals. We’re talking dancing in the streets at Morocco’s colorful Gnaoua Festival, getting creepy and kooky alongside thousands of revellers in New York City’s Halloween parade and getting elbow-deep in pickled cabbage at South Korea’s famous kimchi festival. Hit up the party and do festivals differently with Geckos.

What to expect on your festival tour

Day of the Dead – Oaxaca

Dia de los Muertos is a serious, spiritual festival in Mexico, a chance to go to cemeteries with loved ones and welcome recently departed family members. Experience the celebrations like the locals do in Oaxaca. Papier-mâché skeletons shimmy down the streets, women paint their faces up like Catrina (the female skeleton symbol of Dia de los Muertos), street vendors serve piping hot cochinita pibil tacos and craft stalls pop up all over the place. It’s the rave from beyond the grave.

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Kimchi Festival – South Korea

NEWSFLASH: kimchi is delicious. In Gwangju, South Korea, locals unleash a kimchi apocalypse once a year in the form of the World Kimchi Festival. Taste a massive variety of kimchi flavours (yep, there is more than one), make baechu kimchi (basic cabbage Kimchi) or gat kimchi (Leaf Mustard Kimchi, whatever that is) and fry buchimgae pancakes. This is what dreams must taste like. Really pickly dreams.

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Gnaoua Festival – Morocco

If you haven’t heard of Gnawa music, you’re not alone. Indigenous to Northern Africa, it’s a mystical, religious chant, with tunes often lasting several hours (not all that Top 40-friendly). Each year in Essaouira, Gnawa players gather, along with jazz, pop, rock and soul musicians, to celebrate music, culture and tradition. Thousands of punters cram the port city and dance in the streets, as markets pop up and musicians of all styles jam together to create strange musical fusion. Glastonbury this is not.

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Halloween - Salem & New York

Thanks to its part in the witch trials of the 1600s, Salem has become America’s unofficial Halloween capital. So really, where else would you spend October (apart from New York for their famous Village Halloween Parade, but we’ll get to that)? There are ghost tours, something called Count Orlok’s Nightmare Gallery, live music venues, markets, street food and a recreation of a famous witch trial (you even get to be on the Puritan jury). But wait, there’s more. Swing by spooky Sleepy Hollow for a ghost story or two, then dress up in your creepiest costume for Manhattan’s Village Halloween Parade.

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